Quantcast

Tag Archive: language

Jul 27 2014

[guest post] Let’s Not Call People “Illiterate”

Frequent guest poster CaitieCat is back with a short piece about classism and how we call people out. One of the things we’ve been talking a lot about recently in feminist circles is the concept of ‘splash damage’ – the idea that sometimes taking aim at one thing in a particular way ends up causing …

Continue reading »

Apr 29 2014

Promoting Mental Health in the Workplace

[Content note: mental illness, including eating disorders] This post was requested by Kate [not FtB!Kate], who donated to my conference fundraiser. She wanted to hear my opinion on mental health in the workplace and how employees and employers can foster a culture that values and promotes mental health. She had some of her own suggestions, …

Continue reading »

Mar 28 2014

Disagreeing Without Delegitimizing: On That Racist Colbert Tweet and Reactions Thereto

Screenshot via Suey Park

[Content note: racist language, sexual harassment] It has all the makings of a social media firestorm: at some point last week, Stephen Colbert made a joke on his show in which he implicitly criticized Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder for refusing to change the team’s racist name. The @ColbertReport Twitter account tweeted part of the …

Continue reading »

Dec 22 2013

On Not Holding Our Models Sacred: Some Feminist Theories And Their Flaws

Social science relies on models. (No, not that kind.) If you’re familiar with social science, you might be used to referring to them as “theories.” A theory or model in social science is like a theory or model in any other science. It is developed based on evidence and used to explain various phenomena. A …

Continue reading »

Sep 18 2013

Why You Shouldn’t Use Mental Illness As A Metaphor

And speaking of the dilution of language, I’m going to talk a little about how the language of mental illness gets co-opted regularly. Sometimes this is done completely innocently, as metaphor. “The weather’s really bipolar today.” “I’m kinda OCD about this, sorry.” “I’m so depressed about the Blackhawks losing!” Sometimes it’s a little less innocent, …

Continue reading »

Sep 12 2013

All Nonconsensual Sex is Sexual Assault: How We Categorize and Minimize Rape

[Content note: sexual assault, statutory rape] People, as it turns out, really love to categorize sexual assault. They like to speculate about which ones are worse or more traumatic. They like to refer to certain sexual assaults with sanitized language that either glamorizes or minimizes what happened. If at all possible, they like to leave …

Continue reading »

Sep 01 2013

The Oberlin Hate Crimes Are Not “Just Trolling”

This past year, Oberlin College, generally known for being liberal and inclusive, had a series of bias incidents–or, more specifically, hate crimes. Notes with swastikas were left in mailboxes, flyers advertising minority groups were defaced, signs were put up with ethnic slurs on them, and several students were physically assaulted or chased by people making …

Continue reading »

Jun 11 2013

[guest post] Dictionary Arguments, and Why They Suck

CaitieCat, a frequent and awesome commenter around here, has a guest postI It’s not news to any activist for any cause that people just love to whip out dictionary definitions as ostensibly authoritative guides to what words mean. Even so august a person as a fellow whose name may or may not rhyme with Shmichard …

Continue reading »

May 24 2013

On Useful and Not-So-Useful Definitions of Racism

[Update 10/22/13: If you've found this post through a racist hate forum, don't bother commenting. Your comment's going straight to the trash and nobody will ever read it. :)] Richard Dawkins, whose Twitter feed never fails to amuse, has lately been discussing racism–specifically, against white people: [Here's the link in case you can't see this] …

Continue reading »

Jan 28 2013

How To Not Be An Asshole To Immigrants

Saying 'what kind of an idiot doesn't know about the Yellowstone supervolcano' is so much more boring than telling someone about the Yellowstone supervolcano for the first time.

Growing up as a first-generation immigrant in the suburban Midwest is weird. I was often the only person my classmates knew who had been born in another country, who didn’t have American citizenship, who spoke a language other than English or Spanish fluently, who wasn’t a Christian. I think people often unintentionally treated me as …

Continue reading »

Older posts «